Yesterday, we went for a little paseito. Except this time, I was a teeny bit (though not completely) more well informed about what was actually going to go down, so I had some level of expectation about what was lying ahead of me.
Every Sunday, what seems to me like the Cantabria Parks and Rec department, organizes hikes that are led by a guide, and take a variety of routes. We joined up with the group in the Parque Natural de Saja-Besaya – according to the schedule it was either going to be a hike or a snowshoe trek, weather depending. Turns out the snow in the lower parts of the mountain wasn’t so hot for snowshoeing, so we set out on foot. The guide explained it wasn’t really a typical route, it was sort of a combination of paths. So the group of about ten of us set out in our cold weather gear.
I pause for a moment to explain MY cold weather gear. You know when you go skiing and you see “that guy?” The guy skiing in jeans? Yeah. That was me. In jeans. Like some sorta redneck. I seem to be lacking appropriate “go for a hike/snowshoe” pants. I sort of managed the rest of it, with a bunch of layers, my EVER so necessary double layer of mittens with hand warmers, hat, etc. And thanks to some other borrowed goods, including another jacket and ski poles, and these things that cover the bottom of your pants so they don’t get wet (they have a name, I’m blanking on them though).
Anyway, it was about a 3 hour hike up, with a little snow at the bottom and about a foot and change by the top. We started off on a pretty clear path, and then zig-zagged our way up, like a bunch of ducks in a row following our guide. By the top, visibility was pretty low – he was looking for a cabin that was up there to stop and have something to eat, and we almost didn’t go because he couldn’t see well enough to find it (this, by the way, is when I start to think about how there are two million places I’d rather be than standing, in my redneck getup, in the middle of the snow and wind at the top of the mountain when we’re not really sure where to go, and I’m forced to start singing happy songs in my head and to focus on the warm cup of soup I am going to have when I get down and how no, just because I can’t feel my fingers it doesn’t mean I have frostbite). But somehow we did.
We stopped for about 15 minutes or so (while everyone busted out big loaves of bread but us, because we were a little ill prepared…I should have learned this from last time, I know, I know…we ate a granola bar), just enough time for me to temporarily lose feeling in all my limbs, which for those of you who know me is NOT a rare occurrence in the cold weather (don’t worry it all came back once we got moving again), and then we headed back down, like double speed.
It was actually really beautiful, and a very enjoyable hike. I’ll get some better pants for next time.